Some houses have souls and personalities and some don’t.  The former are quite often older homes, built when people took pride in what they built, put thought into both use and beauty, things that give personality to a house.  The house we’ve owned for 27 years and will be attempting to sell (due to relocation) has character.  Here are some examples.

When we had the house painted recently, the painters raved about the iron railings running upstairs and ar0und the landing.  They said you wouldn’t find it anymore because it would cost so much.


Our built-in bookshelf in the living room.  Normally it’s mostly full of books, sculptures and other things, but I’m still getting it restocked after the painting which was followed almost immediately by Christmas.



Fireplace details:



Marble hearth.



Build-in china hutch:


We also have hardwood floors which were mostly covered by carpeting.  We finally ripped that out and use throw rugs instead so we can enjoy the floors.

If you’re interested in houses that aren’t large but have character and details, take a look at the “Not So Big House” series of books by Sarah Susanka.  You’ll find them filled with details that make a house into a home.

  1. What a beautiful home, after 27 years it is terribly hard to leave , we left ours after 22 yrears i cried for some time over the move. May I make a suggestion? Do not put to many things on that gorgeous bookcase , less is more when trying to sell (I was areal estate broker for 17 years) also, from amazon buy a St. Joseph statue and plant it in the yard (instructions come with it). I bought them by the gross homes that had been on the market for 6 months to a year with other brokers and not sold I sold with St Josephs help in a matter of days. We placed our home on market with someone that used to work for me it did not sell for six months then I remembered St Joe and we sold in ten days. Good luck and prayers for Bill and all of you!!

  2. You are so right about certain houses having character and soul. I used to live in one which, although nearly falling down, had the best vibe of any house I have ever known. Yours is most certainly beautiful.

  3. great details, uniqueness, character, nooks, curves, presence, and grandness

  4. Definitely a home with personality.

  5. Donna Godfrey says:

    Janet, this is a beautiful home. I know it is a perfect place for a cup of tea and a wonderful chat together!

  6. elmowrites says:

    I agree – my new house (new to me, about 90 years old) has loads of character. And not a single straight or parallel line! One day I’ll post a picture of our bannister rail. I swear it curves in 4 dimensions!!!

  7. How can you bear to leave – well, you have no choice. The bookshelves are wonderful, and so is that swooping stair rail and the detailing beside the fireplace. (And you have an eye for photographing architecture – we’ve seen that in some of your other posts, and it’s very noticeable here.)

    • Sharon, it will be very difficult to leave the house as a house, but not difficult in it being more important to be with Bill. The entire house has character that’s just not in most new houses, no matter how clean and new they are. Details aren’t important any more or maybe they’re simply too costly.

  8. Love the built-in bookshelves!!!

  9. vbholmes says:

    Much happiness with your move, Janet–you’re leaving a special home so I hope you’ll at least be closer to Philadelphia and your daughter.

    • I’ll be moving the other direction but even better, I’ll be moving back in with my husband!! We’ve been living in two places for over four years now, which is four years too many. Better a husband than a house, although I will miss the house greatly. 🙂

  10. Joyce says:

    Love the pictures of your house. It is so unique and looks like it has so many wonderful, old. but endearing qualities, a wonderful house to display some antiques too.

    • Thanks, Joyce. We do have some antiques and lots of western and southwest things as well. I wish you could stop by, see it and have a cup of tea with me.

      • Joyce says:

        So do I. You know, I really wasn’t sure if it was Chicago where you lived, or Philadelphia. I was trying to figure that out over Christmas when you talked about Chicago and then I thought I saw where you mentioned ‘Philly’. Or is it another city?

      • Right I’m in Cleveland, where this house is. Our younger daughter’s at art school in Philly and I’ll be moving to the Chicago area to be back with Bill. Do you think I have enough cities in there? 🙂 Hope you’re less confused now.

  11. Cindy Marsch says:

    I love your house! 🙂

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